Interview: Jamie Louise

| May 28, 2014
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All images: Orawgi.com

 Words by Khwezi Nkwnayana

NO oven? No stovetop? No microwave? No problem! Moustache got the opportunity to get to know the hardworking and compassionate Jamie Louise. Jamie is the founder and owner of the raw vegan restaurant, Orawgi. She has a passion for eating well and living harmoniously with the earth. Did I mention she has kick-ass fashion sense and a lovable smile? I got the chance to have a quick chat with Jamie and discuss her restaurant and her life as a raw vegan.

MM: So first thing’s first, tell us a little bit about Orawgi and how it all began.

JL: Orawgi was inspired by my philosophy on life; to give to the earth not take. Here at Orawgi, the produce is sourced within 500 kilometers of Brisbane. This means the food is fresh, we are supporting local farmers, and this has little negative consequences for the environment. I have been into raw food for six years now, and I was in love with making Kale Chips. All my friends advised me to start making them professionally. When I came back from Bali in 2012, the opportunity to open the café came up. Initially it opened as a staff café for the company Biosolar, but in weeks I had people from the public pouring in.

So it was kind of a happy accident then?

Yes, sort of. I had the idea in my head for a couple of years before I went to Bali. I looked at the building here and I loved it. I was looking to open a yoga studio and a raw food café in the same space so I let the building manager know. At first, he really didn’t understand the concept so he rejected the idea. Consequently, I travelled over to America to learn all about the veganism and raw food. In addition, I wanted to fit all the yoga I could.

I know that you are a raw vegan 24/7. Was there any catalyst that made you decide to become one?

Well, even as a young child, I never enjoyed eating meat. I used to hide pieces of meat away from my parents and pretend I had eaten it. In addition, I could never separate the animals we play with, with the animals on my plate. That inspired my decision to become a vegetarian in my late teens. Then I became really unwell. I noticed that when I cut out dairy products and egg from my diet I would feel a lot healthier. Furthermore, I have a very Buddhist philosophy, I wouldn’t kill a fly or an ant, and that simply has reflected into my cooking. I don’t want to take anything from the earth; I just want to provide for it.

I presume this philosophy on life has presented you with challenges.

I have, but I do everything with love. I am not here to argue over beliefs. It is not my job to educate people who disagree with me but to be the change I wish to see. I actually have that tattooed on my arm. I feel like education happens through example. I never expect people to do what I do but it is kind of cool to see others inspired by my lifestyle.

That’s amazing; you really are making an impact. Do you have any future plans for Orawgi?

I am in the process of opening a second store in Hamilton. That will be open in July. I will be opening one in West Hollywood, in U.S., in March next year too. I’m really excited to see what happens in the future.

If you want to know more about Orawgi, you can visit find them online at www.orawgi.com or visit their store at 43 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba 4012.

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Category: FEATURED, LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized

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